Paul Hanagan

Paul Hanagan – Director of Racing at TGRC

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From Racing Triumphs to Leadership: Paul’s Remarkable Journey

Paul’s journey is a testament to the power of passion, determination, and resilience. It’s a story of a remarkable racing career and a new beginning in a leadership role, showcasing that in the world of horse racing, as in life, the journey is just as important as the destination.

  1. Early Career and Breakthrough

Paul’s journey in the world of horse racing began in 1998 when he had his first ride at Haydock Park.

A significant turning point in his career came in 2002 when he emerged as the Champion apprentice. His remarkable performance included securing 86 wins, making him the second-highest winning apprentice of his time.

  1. Champion Jockey Achievements

Paul’s excellence as a jockey continued to shine as he achieved the prestigious title of Champion Jockey twice. In 2010, he secured an impressive 191 wins, and in the following year, 2011, he reached a total of 165 wins. Notably, he became the first Northern-based rider to clinch back-to-back championships.

  1. Success with HH Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum

From 2012 to 2016, Paul served as the retained rider for HH Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum. During this period, he achieved remarkable success, with approximately 10 Group 1 wins. Notably, one of his career highlights was winning his first Classic on Taghrooda at the English Oaks during this tenure.

  1. Challenging Setback and Recovery

In 2020, Paul faced one of the most challenging moments of his career. An incident at Newcastle racecourse resulted in a severe injury where he broke his back in three places. This unfortunate event forced him to take an extended break from racing, lasting over 10 months.

  1. Role as Ambassador and Racing Director

In 2022, Paul took on the role of Ambassador to The Great Racing Company, contributing his knowledge and experience to the racing world.

His illustrious career culminated with his retirement from race riding on August 25th, 2023, at York racecourse after 25 years in the saddle.

Following his retirement, he transitioned into the role of Racing Director at GRC, where he continues to make significant contributions to the racing community. This year Paul has also started two private syndicates, out of which one is with Simon Mapletoft. 

Paul’s journey in horse racing exemplifies dedication, passion, and resilience. From his early days at Haydock Park to becoming the first Northern-based rider to claim back-to-back Champion Jockey titles, his career is marked by triumphs and setbacks, including a severe injury in 2020.

However, Paul’s journey doesn’t end on the racetrack. As an Ambassador and now Racing Director at GRC, he continues to make his mark in the sport. His story reminds us that in racing, as in life, the journey is as important as the destination, filled with challenges, triumphs, and new beginnings.

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